1. Create a (very broad) list
Think about what you’re looking for with your college experience outside of volleyball - size of the school, location, academics, culture, even weather. Start to make a very broad list, focusing on schools that you would enjoy without volleyball - just in case your volleyball career gets cut short by injuries or other unknowns.
From there, start to think about volleyball and what your playing options might be based on your skill level, physicality, and potential (DI, DII, DIII, NAIA). If you’re not sure about where you might fit yet, check out Youtube for matches or highlights at the schools you are interested in. Your coach or club director can also help you determine what type and level of program could work.
2. Make a timeline
Create a timeline and plan to keep you on track and remind you when to reach out to and follow up with coaches. This can be done simply in Excel or in an email, but be sure you look at it weekly to check out your next steps and upcoming tasks.
2. Start compiling and editing video
If you already have good quality video, you’re ahead of the game! You can start editing and organizing clips by skills. When you’re evaluating clips, prioritize clips with good technique that show your potential over clips with a good outcome. Your coach or club director can give you a second opinion too.
If you don’t have any video, start compiling video at tournaments or scrimmages and begin the editing process at home. Make sure you have a tripod to keep the camera steady, and if you can, try to film the whole court from behind the endline (behind the court in a corner is also OK). Our NEVBC National Teams have all matches recorded and tagged on Hudl, which makes the video process much simpler! If you don't have access to Hudl, talk to your teammates to see if you can collaborate on this process and share your team’s video using Dropbox or a similar site for multiple players to use.
Keep in mind that many coaches will want to see a full match video in addition to highlights if they’re really interested in you, so you’ll want to keep that on file or upload it to Youtube.
PRO TIP: When you upload your video to YouTube, put it on a playlist and use the playlist link for your emails to coaches, online profiles, and volleyball resume (more on that below!). That way, when you update your video or add new highlight videos, you don’t have to change the link everywhere. The same thing applies for your Hudl page!
4. Create a volleyball resume
Your volleyball resume is basically a one-page summary of you for college coaches, and it needs to include key volleyball-related statistics and academic information. Keep the formatting clean and simple, and be sure to include the following:
A photo of you (so coaches will recognize you at tournaments)
Name and contact information
Graduating class, position, and jersey number
Link to your highlight video
Height, dominant hand, standing reach, block touch, and approach touch (talk to your coach or club director about how to get these numbers tested)
Volleyball statistics (if you have them)
Athletics awards or accolades (volleyball only, unless you were an elite athlete in another sport, then you can include that to show your athleticism)
GPA, test scores, and any meaningful extracurriculars
Contact information for your high school and/or club coaches so college coaches can get in touch!
5. Make your online profiles
Create a profile on the following sites - University Athlete, CaptainU, NCSA (use the free version!), and BeRecruited as a starting point. At the major tournaments, many coaches use University Athlete and CaptainU to look up players, and it's helpful if you have a full profile. Not all coaches use these services, but some do, and it is always helpful to put your information and video out there to see if you get any interest. You can also direct coaches to one of your profiles online in any emails to them.
Most importantly, if you want to get recruited, spend the majority of your time on getting better at volleyball! Check out this article to learn some creative ways to improve outside of your practice hours or lessons. Remember that coaches want players who are committed to getting better, which you can show in your improvement from year to year, or even tournament to tournament!